Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Students, Hartford Residents March for Equality

By Chris Bulfinch

News Editor

On Nov. 20, 14 Trinity students marched through Hartford to protest Donald Trump’s election to the presidency as part of the Equality March that took place downtown. Organized by Hartford area activists, Trinity’s visit to the protest was organized by members of the College Democrats, a political club new to Trinity’s campus.

According to the event’s Facebook page, the Equality March was organized “in light of all the pain and hurt that many are feeling post-election.” The event’s description continued, “We thought it would be best to call this an equality march versus an ‘anti-Trump’ protest because it is counterproductive to be ANTI. We should all be FOR equality and justice.”

Participants gathered outside of the Old State House around noon on Sunday, huddled in small knots against the cold. Marchers ranged in age from elderly to young children, some of whom had written their own signs. “Hate Never Made Us Great,” read a banner larger than its young authors, subtitled “Kids Against Trump,” next to a drawing of Trump labeled “bully.” Using a megaphone, Tiffany Walker, an activist and organizer who put the event together, rallied the protestors, explaining the demonstration’s peaceful intentions and reviewing slogans. Walker could not be reached by the Tripod for comment, though activity on the event’s Facebook page suggested that such events might occur in the future.

The march departed from the Old State House and made its way to Connecticut’s Capitol building. They chanted slogans: “women’s rights are human rights, immigrant rights are human rights,” across Bushnell Park as the demonstrators approached the Capitol.

After circling the Capitol building, the demonstrators settled on the grass, still brandishing signs. Using the megaphone provided by Walker, participants took turns speaking. Hailing from a variety of towns and neighborhoods in the greater Hartford area, speakers articulated their concerns over Trump’s election weeks ago, citing his inflammatory and divisive rhetoric, controversial cabinet appointments, and contentious proposed policies as the sources of their discontent. Most speakers, including the children who had created the “bully” banner, reiterated their commitment to continued advocacy and desire for unity.

The College Democrats, for their part, will continue participating in political events around Hartford, according to Fiona McElroy, ’20, the group’s Vice President. Sunday’s demonstration was one of a number of other events hosted by the Democrats this semester; among the group’s other offerings have been debate viewings, a candlelight vigil in the immediate aftermath of the election and meetings with members of Connecticut’s House of Representatives. McElroy reflected on the College Democrats’ desire to “continue to provide opportunities for students at Trinity to contact politicians in our area and learn about the political process.”

The demonstration broke up after about an hour of speeches, with participants scattering to their cars and to the city buses. Many speakers stated a desire for more action like the demonstration on the 20th; many extended invitations to discussion groups at interfaith houses and other centers of the Hartford community to continue processing the election.

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